Several years ago Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey asked David Caruso to help them design a test of emotional intelligence. One reason I have started this page is because I am not satisfied that the test David, Jack and Peter have come up with is actually testing a person's emotional intelligence. Further, I believe it is important to look at the people behind this test because a test like this reflects the values of the test designers and the culture of which the test designers are at products of. Of the three test developers, I know David the best since I have spent the most time with him and had the most communication with him since we met in May of 2001.
Since May 2001, when we met at his EI workshop, David and I have had somewhat of a personal relationship. I visited his house after the workshop and then again once more when I was returning from Canada in October of 2001. There are some things which I learned from these visits which have troubled me for several years. Recently I decided my concerns were serious enough that I needed to start writing about them.
David has felt personally attacked by some of the things I have written recently and he has communicated this to me. I value David's friendship and honesty. While he and I disagree on some fundamental things, I don't want to destroy either the working or personal relationship I have with him. Last night David and I talked by phone and he said I reminded him of a bad parent who yells and hits his kids one day, then hugs them the next. . At once point David had considered cutting off all communication with me, which is something I don't want to happen.
For now I will just leave a few things on this page. Then later I'll add more after I have re-written it. In the meantime, I invite readers to let me know if they think this page on David is helpful, along with any other comments.
I want to show that David is intelligent, has good intentions, tries hard, has a lot of integrity, has a lot of credentials, and has a lot of academic and theoretical training but is still not qualified to help design a test of emotional intelligence. David does have the statistical knowledge and the knowledge of test scoring, but in my opinion, he does not have either sufficient emotional understanding or sufficient cross-cultural experience and perspective. There is also a problem with his personal level of security, as I discuss on that page.
I really hope David can see what I am saying. But if not, at least I feel more clear about it all and I am sure others will get something positive from all of this. As said above I invite my readers to let me know if they think this page on David is helpful and send other comments.
Very briefly, because of some things David has told me, I am concerned with how deeply David has pursued the understanding of the emotions of hatred, vengeance, resentment, destructiveness. For example, David once told me terrorists kill people because they are "evil." I am deeply concerned about this because many Americans don't understand the emotions motivating those who are being labeled as "terrorists", and as a result they invaded Iraq and have been killing people, destroying things, wasting money and generating more hatred.
I believe those who consult and train in the area of EI, and those who help design tests of emotional intelligence, which include sections on emotional understanding, must themselves have a superior level of emotional understanding. I have not see this kind of understanding on David's part, nor have I seen a strong desire for attaining this understanding.
To me, the war in Iraq and all the talk about "terrorism" and people being "evil" represents much of what is wrong with the USA right now. People are more interested in books about applying emotional intelligence to business in the hopes of making more money than they are in applying it to understanding "terrorism" in the hopes of stopping the killing, destruction and bloodshed.
On a personal level, David hasn't shown me that he really understands my own emotions and why I feel so strongly about things. Nor has David demonstrated that he is presently what I could call an "expert" in emotional management, at least when it comes to managing personal emotions outside of the work environment.
I believe David is capable of a higher level of emotional understanding and if he were to achieve this, he would be able to design a better test of emotional intelligence. One of my goals is to present my ideas to David in a way that he can learn from them and apply them to his both his personal and professional life. I would also like David to be more of an ally in this personal quest I have taken on to very literally change the world. I want to change it from a world of violence, threats, punishments to a world where children and teenagers' emotional needs are met. David asked the other night if I really believed that filling the emotional needs of children and teenagers would stop the violence and stop people from wanting to hurt each other. My answer was; "Yes, I really believe that."
But David doesn't share this belief. He told me has a more pessimistic view of humans. This troubles me. I believe we need psychologists who see people as essential "good" when they children, equipped with everything they need for peaceful, cooperative, productive, even loving lives. I also believe we need psychologists who really feel. Who really feel empathy, compassion. Several things that David have said indicate that he feels less empathy and compassion than I believe is necessary for those who are leaders, writers, consultants etc. in the field of EI.
This is field dealing with emotions, feelings. I believe we need people who really feel total range of human emotions. Only by feeling the emotions themselves can they really understand other people's emotions. And only then are they really qualified to design tests of emotional intelligence. It's not just David, I am concerned about. I don't see these kind of people coming out of PhD programs. I think the entire system of training psychologists is flawed. I believe it lacks the emotional dimension. Thus, I don't fault David personally when I say he is not qualified. It even hurts me to say that I don't believe he is qualified, since I like David as a person and care about his feelings. But I feel a greater responsibility to those who read my site to be very honest about all my beliefs and opinions.
On this page I share some of my thoughts and feelings about David Caruso. I met David at a workshop in May of 2001. I was so impressed with him that I felt motivated to let others know more about who the "Caruso" part of the Mayer Salovey Caruso team is. Before meeting David I felt a little skeptical of him. I was afraid he might be trying to capitalize on the work which Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey have been doing. I was afraid he was sounding a bit too much like Dan Goleman in trying to take the research work on emotional intelligence and package it for the corporate world in order for his personal profit. After four days with David though, I no longer have this fear. Instead, I have a high level of admiration for him both as a professional and as a father.
I have also invited David to contribute his thoughts and feelings on this page regarding what is happening in the field of EI. We have discussed the possibility of making it something like an interactive forum. I might, for example, take questions from my site visitors and post them here for David to reply to as he has time. There are lots of possibilities!
I will start with a few words on the relationship between David and Jack Mayer since most people know David's name because of the work he is doing with Jack and Peter Salovey.
David and Jack Mayer
David and Jack met while getting their Ph.D.s at Case Western University approximately 20 years ago and have been friends ever since. David got involved in the work that Jack and Peter were doing around 19xx after Jack described what he was working on and asked if David would like to help them design a test. The three have collaborated on the emotional intelligence research and testing since that time. I feel impressed and reassured knowing that Jack and David have known each other for so long and have been able to maintain their friendship even throughout some rough moments in their work together on EI. David is a much more assertive, outgoing, and risk-taking guy than Jack and I can tell this has caused some friction at times. To both of their credits, though, their personality differences have not caused a break in their friendship. I suspect this is because their underlying values are very similar. Values such as honesty, pursuit of truth and knowledge, scientific inquiry, integrity and a desire to make a positive difference in the word.
David as a presenter and speaker
During the workshop there were several things which stood out about David. First, he is extremely bright. This is no surprise, but it needs to be said. Second, he has a keen sense of humor. Third, he takes his work very seriously. He feels passionate about it. He presents it with energy and enthusiasm (in fact, some joked that his dancing around the room reminded them of Tony Robbins) and he constantly entertains. His passion comes through and so does his attention to detail. His presentation was well organized and full of content. Overall, he is simply an excellent presenter.
At one point David was making a speech about how we are part of a movement and how important it is for all of us to stick to scientific fact so the movement will not be discredited and die an early death. He urged us to go out and inform others and encourage them to really think when they are talking about what emotional intelligence really is and is not. He then said something like go out and serve this movement in a spirit of truth, justice and the advancement of humanity! At this I had to begin clapping, and several others followed my lead. So as not to appear too gullible and impressionable, though, I want to add that I had a playful smile on my face as I clapped. I realized early on that David gets a bit carried away at times. Still, I could see that this was a person who felt strongly about his convictions and who was not afraid to take a strong stand, which is one thing I admire in a person, especially when I can see that the things he feels strongly about are generally the things that matter most in life. (Except, perhaps, when he gets excited about the New York Mets winning a baseball game, but I will say more about this later!)
The only suggestions I might make, in fact, are these: First, that he tone down his sarcasm a notch or two and that he express his feelings more with feeling words. At one point in his presentation, for example, David looked a slide of Dan Goleman's list of 25 "EI competencies" and said "When see a list like this which includes things like diversity, political awareness, service orientation, I think it is absurd. I think it is ridiculous. I think it is embarrassing." I said to myself, "Okay, so that is what he thinks, but how does he feel?!" Of course I could fairly accurately guess how he felt, but still, I would encourage him to use more feeling words both as a role model and to let his audience get a bit closer to him on a personal level -- since feelings are always more personal than thoughts.
The second suggestion would be for him to practice receiving feedback. At the end of the first day he sat at the back of the room while his co-presenter, Chuck Wolfe, took all the feedback. When I saw that Chuck was feeling a little hurt by some of the things which were being said, I turned around and said to David, "Can I ask you how you are feeling back there, David?" David replied with a slightly defensive smile and tone, "You can ask," implying that he might not answer. So I said, "Okay, then I am asking." David then got more serious and said, "Well, I can tell you honestly that I don't like to get feedback. I don't like to hear negative things. And I feel guilty because Chuck is up there alone taking all the flack while I am hiding back here. And I feel admiration for Chuck in being able to do that." Now I sensed this was a very honest answer and I told David I felt touched by his honesty and I admired him for it. I feel optimistic that this experience will help David in his future presentations. Now I feel a need to add that David later told me he normally speaks to large audiences so a feedback session isn't really possible. Also, Chuck has been delivering training programs for twenty years or so. In this light, I can understand more why the two presenters decided to put Chuck in charge of receiving the feedback.
I had the opportunity to watch David coach a baseball team of 9-10 year olds on a sunny Saturday morning. First though, I need to mention that the night before I saw him spend approximately an hour and a half deliberating over the line up of players for the next day. First he wrote it down on a sheet of paper. Then he transferred it to a large white, erasable board, the kind you see in corporate conference rooms. I felt a little puzzled by why he was spending so much time on this and taking it so seriously. He stared at that board with a look of intensity that suggested a somewhat crazed scientist in his laboratory who was in hot pursuit of some vitally important (to him!) formula. As we talked though, I began to understand. David explained that there are too many kids for each of them to get to play every inning. And there are certain positions, such as pitcher, that all the kids want to play. Thus, he tries to rotate the players each inning and from week to week to give them all a fair chance. Not having played baseball since I was about 10 years old myself, the importance of this was a bit lost on me at first. But as time went on, I began to realize why David was taking his task so seriously. First, he told me that his own son, who I will call Andrew, likes to pitch and that this is a real problem. Because Andrew is the coach's son, others will assume that he is going to pitch more often. David said that just the opposite is probably more closer to the truth, since he tends to overcompensate so Andrew doesn't get spoiled and so the other kids and their parents don't feel cheated. This made some sense to me that night. But when I saw Andrew come downstairs and go directly to the white board to see what positions his Dad had assigned him to, then I saw his disappointment and resentment almost to a level of anger, I understood how important such seemingly small things are.
When David saw how upset Andrew was, I am sure he felt a little defensive. He quietly but firmly told David something like, "Andrew, we will talk about it in the car. But now you need to eat your cereal because we have to leave." I thought it might have been better for David to validate his son's feelings by saying something like, "You are pretty disappointed, huh? You really wanted to pitch today, didn't you? And you are a little upset with your Dad, right?" (John Gottman has an excellent description of a similar interaction with his own daughter on an airplane in his book on developing a child's emotional intelligence. I also learned this "validate first" method from a school counselor.) I felt afraid to say anything and now I feel a little cowardly for not having said something, (and in fact there is a bit more to the story) but at anyrate Andrew seemed to be feeling okay by the time he arrived at the baseball park. I am not sure what the conversation was between the two of them, but based on other interactions I saw between the two of them I suspect that it was a fairly mature discussion in which David allowed Andrew to safely express his feelings. In fact, after I watched David listen to one of his boys, I said, "My father and I never had the level of openness. It is really neat how your boys want to come share things with you." I also overheard Andrew explaining to his Dad,, "I didn't feel comfortable there..." and then go on to explain why he didn't feel comfortable. I doubt that I would have ever been able to express my feelings so well to my father at nine years old, or even at twenty-nine.
The constructive criticism I would offer him is as follows: I found him to be a bit reluctant to share his feelings with feeling words. At one point when he put up a slide showing Dan Goleman's 25 "emotional intelligence competencies" he said, "When I see a list like this which includes things like x,y,z I think it is absurd. I think it is ridiculous and I think it is embarrassing." He said, "If you want to call yourself a science journalist, and write about emotional intelligence from a journalist's perspective, I think that is fine. I think it is great. But if you want to present yourself as a research scientist there is another standard to which you have to be held accountable."
I noticed that while David obviously felt strongly offended by what Goleman is doing, he still said "I think that is fine. I think it is great." In fact, he often use the same words during the workshop and each time he did I wanted to correct him and say, "Well, it doesn't seem like you feel fine about it. In fact, you seem to feel upset about it." I quickly noticed that David uses his sense of humor as his defense mechanism. He often uses sarcasm to express his resentment, for example. And he uses teasing to show when he has been slightly hurt. I felt comfortable around David, in fact, partly for this very reason, since my family also used teasing to show both hurt and affection. At one point I compared David to one of my brothers, but I realized that my brother often placed too much weight on the former and not enough on the latter. With David, though he teased me, sometimes almost mercilessly, I felt admired and appreciated. I easily fell into the familiar response of teasing him back and we at times were a bit in our own world with our quick banter and repartee while the others in group were somewhat left out or left behind. David challenged my mind on several levels and it was overall an intellectually and emotionally rewarding experience to be around him for four days. When I left his house I felt satisfied and had a sense that I had made a friend for life.
Saying that, I want to add that I am a little concerned that people will start to question my integrity and question whether they can take what I say on face value. David was the first to bring this up in fact when I suggested that I wanted to help promote his work. He said "You have always used your site to present an impartial, objective view of the field...." I started to debate with him, but then I realized I was starting to minimize and invalidate his feelings. So I said, "How afraid are you of me losing credibility, on a scale of 0-10?" He said, "About a 4 or 5." I said, "Well, I share your fear, but it is only at about a 1 or 2 level." Feeling relieved, he said, "Okay." I then explained that I was not more afraid because I felt confident that the rest of my work speaks for itself and my integrity will continue to come through, even in what I write about him. I also said that as long as there is no financial relationship, then there is less of a chance for a conflict of interest. Now having said that I want to add that I do want to work with David in the future. I have a desire, a fairly strong one, like 8, let's say, of being a co-presenter with him in the future. At that point we may have a financial relationship, and if that point comes I will disclose it, but at this point our only financial relationship is that I paid a reduced rate to attend the workshop. Probably I have said more on this than I even need to, but like Jack Mayer, I would rather err on the side of caution.
But, back to the workshop and David's statements that he thought Goleman's claims were ridiculous and embarrassing. At his home when we were talking about his feelings vs. his thoughts, I told him I suspected that he felt offended personally by what Goleman was doing and embarrassed professionally. David agreed and said, "I do feel embarrassed for my profession when I see the claims that Dan is making." David has not wanted to make such a strong statement in his public writings, but I believe it is important that the public does get a sense for his personal feelings. I respect David, as I respect Jack Mayer, for not being more direct in his criticism. Yet I do not respect him completely, in other words I can not give him a 10 on this issue. I believe people around the world are looking to him to help them form their views of the field of emotional intelligence. And I believe this gives him a kind of power and with that power comes responsibility to use it in the best interest of society. I do not believe it is in the best interest of society for him, and this goes for Jack as well, to remain so silent about the intensity of their personal feelings. I believe that my feelings have value and I believe theirs do as well. I also find it somewhat hypocritical of them to speak of the importance of emotional intelligence and yet not place more value on expressing their own actual feelings. I understand why they have not done so to this point. They want to try to maintain a high level of academic, scientific and professional ethics. They do not want to lower themselves to the level to which Dan Goleman has positioned himself. I understand this, but I do not totally accept it.
To put it very bluntly, my greatest fear is that if Goleman is not discredited, the whole field of emotional intelligence will be.
I spoke at length with David about this and I expressed my frustration with his reluctance to take a stronger stand. David said, in effect, that he believed the best way to inform the public was to simply use Goleman's own words and to present the actual data and let Goleman's contradictory and misleading words speak for themselves.
Again, I understand this, but I feel frustrated. I feel frustrated because the academic community moves so slowly. Before there was any chance at all for enough research to be gathered, Goleman had already positioned himself as an international know-it-all in the field. I personally feel resentful about this and that is why I am using these strong words. I can not and will not minimize my feelings about this. My emotions are important to me for very personal reasons. Becoming more emotionally honest, tapping into my innate emotional intelligence has changed my life in a major way. I simply can not sit back and watch someone diminish the value of emotions and emotional intelligence by trying to satisfy their own ego.
Now some may say I am judging Dan Goleman. Some may say that I must be feeling judgmental. Well, this is a fair enough statement. I do feel judgmental. And I believe there is a valid reason for my feelings. At some point I may feel compassion for Dan Goleman, if for example, he ever acknowledges what he is doing and why he felt a need to do it. Or if he actually were to express regret for what he has done since writing his 1995 book. He may honestly think that he is doing the world good by what he is doing. We all want to believe our intentions are honorable. But I urge him to ask himself how he really feels and then do a little self-analysis. I suspect he feels defensive for example, and I suspect if he were to stop trying to intellectualize his feelings he would really his feels defensive because he knows that the attacks on him are justified. It would be at that point that some real growth could come from him and I and others could forgive him and encourage him to use his sharp mind and persuasive writing skills to cooperate with the real researchers rather than try to discredit them, as he has done in a recent paper. At this point, perhaps Dan is becoming his own worst enemy. I am sad to see this when I watch anyone self-destruct out of desperation and a lack of emotional skills and personal security. I cannot predict what will happen to Dan Goleman. I have a small but serious fear that one day he will do something more blatantly self-destructive, such as begin drinking or worse, in order to try to numb the pain from the embarrassment and shame he may one day feel. This would be a real tragedy. But the power lies in Dan's hands, not mine or anyone else's to prevent this from happening.
As I read his recent article I thought to myself, he is feeling defensive and desperate. He is trying anything to defend himself. He is even attacking the credibility of someone who is highly respected in his field...
At one point I was laying on the grass about 10 feet away from David and his team. I overheard him say, "... I stayed up late working on the line up...." I looked over to see what was happening. I felt uncomfortable with his words and tone of voice. He sounded like he felt unappreciated and I was afraid the boy he was talking to felt scolded or blamed. It was as though David was calling the boy ungrateful. I looked at the boys face. It was pointing down. David was talking to him from above him and to his side. I don't think David could see his full face and I am sure the boy could not see David's. David went on to say that he tries hard to rotate the players so every has a chance to play in the infield. Then he said he had made a mistake which was the reason the boy had to sit out two innings. David then apologized, which won me some instant admiration and redemption. At that point the boy said, "It's okay." He sounded sincere, but still hurt. David though, instead of thanking the boy for understanding and forgiving him, shot back, "No, it is not okay. It is not okay with me." Then David went on to begin to put himself down and give a lecture to himself, but he quickly realized his error and backtracked, saying "But if you say it is okay then I appreciate you being mature enough to understand what I am trying to do. That is very mature of you." As David was saying this he was standing up and looking out towards the field. He walked away without checking to see how the boy was feeling. From what I could tell the boy felt worse at the end of this interaction than he felt when he had said "It is okay." I suspect he felt better than he did when the whole thing began, but it definitely could have been handled better. Much better, I might even say.
I will use this example as a teaching opportunity to share some of my practical ideas. For example, David, as an emotional coach (e-coach, let's say) could have sat down on the ground, facing the child. In fact, he could have first said, "Can I sit down for a sec?" This immediately would start to help the boy feel important, respected and in control. I find most adults do not respect a child's personal space, therefore, when you ask permission first, it makes an impression on the child's emotional mind.
Next the e-coach could have said, "You are probably wondering why you are sitting out two innings in a row. And you are probably not real happy with me, huh? And your mom is here today so you probably really wanted to be able to play a lot today."
Now I will speculate on what might have happened had the e-coach taken this path. The boy might have opened up and said, "Yeah, I am mad at you because last week you put me in the outfield and the week before that you promised you wouldn't and the week before that..."
Or, the boy might have sat there silently. In that case, I would recommend to the e-coach to also sit in silence for a while. I might count to ten, for example, before saying anything else. Often when I have done that, something important happens. The child will say something which needs to be brought out. This bringing out process takes longer with some children than with others, though. Now since David had a baseball game to attend to, and I am sure he was feeling anxious to get back to it, as an e-coach an expedient but effective next step might be to say something like, "Well, listen if you are upset with me, I apologize. I tried to rotate the schedule so everyone would have a fair chance to play today, but I messed up. I am sorry, Tommy."
If Tommy is still not talking, the e-coach could say. Listen, I know it is really hard for you to sit out when you really want to be in their playing. How about you think about what I could do to help make it up to you?"
At this point, Tommy may well have felt the e-coaches sincerity and he may be feeling forgiving and he may be showing it, but if he is still sitting there in silence, the e-coach might then say something like. "I am sorry to have to leave you but I am afraid the rest of the team needs me right now. I will be back at the end of the inning to see how you are feeling. How does that sound?"
Tommy might then say "Okay," or he might remain in silence. At this point a slight touch would be probably be helpful as the e-coach goes back to being the b-coach.
It was the first time I met David, and after spending three days with him at the workshop and then visiting him in his home I can honestly say he is the kind of person I would like to have as a friend for life. He is quick-witted, well-organized, thought provoking, open to new ideas and constructive criticism, truth-seeking, self-secure, passionate about his work, and he can even express his feelings with feeling words!
I might have even joked at that point, "But David, tell us how you really feel."
He is an excellent presenter.
Here are a few of my "reservations" but I probably have some more... One thing is the cost. I think it is way high for people like the girl who came from Portugal and was paying for the whole thing out of her own pocket. I feel really bothered by that, though she did not complain when she told me. I am not sure what your motives are in doing the workshop. I would be interested in knowing how the idea got conceived. But it seemed clear that Chuck is trying to a) make money from the workshop and b) get clients. I personally would rather the prices be cut in half and have twice the people there. It seems almost a waste of your time to do three days for 7 people. And I not sure why it is called a certification workshop, what are we certified to do? And I generally would not recommend it to people in education. Especially Chuck's OD was almost strictly corporate stuff. And I thought the place we had it was not the best. Again, the prices of the rooms were nuts to me. Plus the dinner the first night was, in my humble opinion, needlessly fancy. I would much rather have had pizza the first night as we did the last night. And I would vote for sitting around a campfire surrounded by nature one night instead of being surrounded by that ugly casino complex.
As long as I am being honest about what I saw in David's house, I want to add that when Andrew was sitting there at the breakfast table complaining that he wasn't chosen as the pitcher, his mother, a child psychologist said, "Well maybe it is because you are not the best person for the position."
One doesn't have to have a PhD in psychology to see how invalidating this was. Or to see what a lack of compassion and empathy and understanding it showed.
I apologize to David for putting this on here, but it is the truth, and it has bothered me ever since I saw it.
I ask myself, "What are they teaching in those all those courses of psychology?" What are they really teaching that helps a young boy whose father did not select him as pitcher?
By the way, I am not faulting David for not selecting Andrew that day. I understand why he didn't chose him and I believe Andrew was fully capable of understanding it too. And I believe that had David and his wife handled it differently Andrew would have been glad to help his Dad out and been happy to willingly offer the position to someone else.
There is something else that bothers me from that baseball day. Andrew was singing "we are the champions, no time for losers" as if he were gloating about winning. I'd feel embarrassed and ashamed about this if that were my son. I think David probably feels the same way, but in my eyes he is the one who is actually responsible, because he taught his son to think it is important to win baseball games.
January 25, 2005
Something else I want to say about David. David is a very real person, with very high standards and very good intentions. I can see why he is one of Jack Mayer's good friends and why they have been friends for a long time. I don't agree with everything they say about emotional intelligence, but as for them personally, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for them. They are two people in this so called field of emotional intelligence with a lot of integrity.
Here are some suggestions for David. I offer them to him in a spirit of cooperation, mutual respect. I realize I can't make David do anything or feel anything, and that it would be understandable if he would choose to avoid me in the future. Still, here are some suggestions I am thinking of this morning.
Realize that I am in a lot of emotional pain. Realize that this is why my attacks against him are so intensely worded. Realize that I have been in emotional pain for a long, long time. Realize that I feel very alone, very left out of what he calls the "field of emotional intelligence". Realize that I feel excluded. Realize that when someone feels excluded they have an unmet need to feel included. Realize that when someone's emotional needs are met, they feel better, are less likely to hurt anyone else, either intentionally or unintentionally.
- Ask me what would help me feel better.
- Ask me what hurts the most. What things are hurting me the most. What things I see happening in the world, in the field of EI cause me the most pain. What things I see about him that bother me the most.
- Ask me how much I feel understood by him; how much I feel supported, how much I feel valued, how much I feel included.
- Ask me what he could do to help me feel better and what he could have done in the past 12 months for example, to help me feel better.
- Apologize for whatever he feels bad about. For example, if he thought about it, he might realize he could have helped me out more over the last couple years. He might also realize this would have been in his best interest as well, since I would have felt more concerned with how he feels and more "loyal" to him and keeping confidences.
-- Realize that people's feelings change, and that he could have helped my feelings change in a way which would have avoided me feeling so critical of him these days, but instead he contributed to my feelings of increased cynicism, disillusionment. In other words, realize he could have take more steps to avoid the thing he was most afraid of - the very thing which ended up happening. And realize that by taking responsibility for what he could have done, he will feel better himself. And realize that sending me something I wrote a year ago doesn't really help his case. Instead it just tells me that he is trying to defend himself, ie feeling defensive instead of open to criticism and learning. And it tells me that he is trying to justify not writing to me anymore.
(I really believe it would help David if he realized these things, and I trying to feel helpful, not hurtful, or at the least, instructive for anyone who wants to learn something really practical from all of this.)
-- Keep our communication going, even though he is afraid.
-- Be more specific about what he is afraid of.
-- Give me more specific answers to my questions about the MSCEIT test.
-- Show willingness to share my criticism of the MSCEIT tests with his website readers.
-- Show interest in cooperating to come up with a better test, or abandon the quest for a test and tell the public there are better ways to help humanity than spend time trying to design and give tests similar to the MSCEIT. For example, right now the US is preoccupied with what they call terrorism. So how about a test of emotional problem solving for politicians, military officers which would identify those who have some new ideas for managing their "enemies" emotions. In other words a test which would identify people who have better ideas than just threatening people and then trying to kill them and control them with force.
-- Tell me exactly what he read that he thinks is "mean and destructive". Ask me to consider taking it down or softening it.
-- Understand that there are things I do want to destroy. Like the dysfunctional educational system in the USA. And like the myth that just because you have a PhD in psychology, you know something really helpful about human relationships. And like the myth that psychologists are somehow immune from having personal problems with affect their professional work or that they have been trained so well that a) they don't have any personal problems or insecurities, or b) the problems and insecurities they have don't affect their work.
These are some of my suggestions as of six thirty in the morning, Feb 7, 2005
By the way, so as to practice what I preach, I would like to ask David what bothered him the most, what I could do now to help him feel better. But I want to ask these questions not just to "practice what I preach" and thereby not look hypocritical, but also because I will feel more at peace myself if a) I ask the questions b) I do practice what I preach, because to me this is integrity and c) if I can get David to change his mind/his feelings and keep our dialogue going. I feel more alone after getting David's last email. I valued our relationship. I briefly wondered if David is feeling punitive and now wants to hurt me and feels some satisfaction that I feel more alone. But I can't think of anything which tells me David believes much in punishment as a way to improve humanity. Maybe he does. But we've never talked about it and I haven't seen it from him. I think David and I share the belief that humanity is better served with education and understanding, and I would add with meeting people's needs.
This quote comes from David's article for the EI Consortium. Here is the full quote:
Notice that David does not include me in the list of people he says are criticizing the field of EI. Evidently his comment about "listen we must" doesn't apply to everyone, only those who play by the rules he is comfortable with.
see also davidc5.htm
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